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Thread: Future Important Thread (Maybe)

  1. #6601
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zefelius View Post
    Which suggests to me that most of our democracy and voting patterns are based on gut feelings.
    Of course. How could it be anything else? Most of only have time to truly become informed in only 1 field, let alone the incalculable number of fields & infinite knowledge that surrounds us in the universe. We all act according to our convictions because we have jobs, families, hobbies, sleeping, eating, bathing, etc... & very little time is left over for learning anything to a degree of "sufficient" competence to be considered an informed & expert opinion, beyond the area where we make a living. Even then, expert opinions are often just the party line of whatever group you've become affiliated with & not an actual independent, uncorrupted, & fresh evaluation of the topics based on raw data.

    It's almost as if you are trying to disprove what you've intuitively known all along to be the normative. In fact, that article I sent some time ago about our pathological ability to self-deceive ourselves, especially the smarter & more educated we are, should have been the final demonstrative nail in the coffin: Man is pathologically doomed. No doubt about it.

    Have a nice day!

    best regards,
    Pedal2Metal
    Last edited by Pedal2Metal; 07-22-2012 at 01:37 AM.

  2. #6602
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zefelius View Post
    Showtek might appreciate this...

    I was watching cable news today as the Colorado shooting was being discussed and was amazed by how unscientific the "authoritative" psychologist was. He and the news anchor were suggesting repeatedly that the only way to describe the criminal's mental state and dispositions were as "evil." They agreed that there are just some people out there in the world who are evil. So Showtek, is that an actual psychological category? Does anyone ever get categorized as evil as a way of understanding behavior? And if so, where does one spot it? Is it contained in an evil gene? Is it an organ? Part of the brain? It just seemed like they were making it up out of thin air while giving their analysis the appearances of scientific authority. Makes me think that cable news is pretty lousy.
    yes, that's pretty pathetic. i wonder where that psychologist made his degree. either that place is out of touch with current science or the guy is so ignorant that he kept his world view despite its obvious conflict with psychological consensus. it's okay if he wants to defend "evil" as a valid term in psychology--some still do that--but assuming that this is doubtlessly the reason behind the killer's actions is a terrible argument, and it's witless too.

    evil as such is rarely used in psychology today. it's a very loose term with various definitions. therefore, when it is examined it is divided into its many possible categories, such as crime, sadism, or the absence of conscience, which are all much more clearly defined. the idea of evil as an ontological force in the universe has been abandoned long ago. that idea doesn't make sense and there are reasons for all behavior, much better explained by the interaction of genetics, social surroundings, prenatal conditions, psychodynamic forces, etc.

  3. #6603
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zefelius View Post
    Which suggests to me that most of our democracy and voting patterns are based on gut feelings.
    that is surely the case. like you, i am quite ignorant on economics so when it comes to that i probably also vote on a gut basis.

    but many other people take this to extremes. the two center parties in germany, and especially merkel's CDU party, are very good at creating a congenial image of themselves. family members and friends who, when asked specifically about political questions, are clearly left-wing but still vote the CDU because they are politically completely unconscious. my aunt, for example, has always been against nuclear power, and this was one of her strongest held beliefs. she had no idea that for years she was voting for one of the two parties in germany which are still supporting it. after talking she now votes for the green party. the same goes for some friends of mine. one friend even just voted what her mother told her to vote and didn't see anything wrong with it.

    if people would take 30 minutes to just look at parties' overall political points i'm sure we'd have a much more nuanced result.

  4. #6604
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedal2Metal View Post

    Have a nice day!

    best regards,
    Pedal2Metal
    Hahahaha! I thought that was pretty hilarious!

    I'll respond soon to the substantive stuff...

  5. #6605
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zefelius View Post
    I'll respond soon to the substantive stuff...
    LOL!

    I agree there really wasn't much substantive, just making conversation mostly.

    best regards,
    Pedal2Metal

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    http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidthi...imes-and-more/

    From what I can tell, virtually every major news organization under the planet has been indicted as no better than a third-grader for confirming facts before publishing an Internet story. Yet everyone today (me included) gets most of their news from the Internet. A nice vicious cycle! Whoopie! We're so enlightened & wonderful! I love myself & I love the fact that we all love ourselves! Humanity is so cuddly & cute & so deserving of all the goodness it creates!

    best regards,
    Pedal2Metal

  7. #6607
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    a not so surprising effrontery by the very rich

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2...fshore-economy

  8. #6608
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShowtekGER View Post
    a not so surprising effrontery by the very rich

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2...fshore-economy
    And then there are charities.

    note how romney apparently donates shares etc to a charity which only has to spend about 10% in order to remain a charity - so it serves as a holding location for his tax dollars which he can spend on whatever he wants like maybe anti abortion campaigns etc.
    Last edited by ScottieX; 07-22-2012 at 12:22 PM.

  9. #6609
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedal2Metal View Post
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidthi...imes-and-more/

    From what I can tell, virtually every major news organization under the planet has been indicted as no better than a third-grader for confirming facts before publishing an Internet story. Yet everyone today (me included) gets most of their news from the Internet. A nice vicious cycle! Whoopie! We're so enlightened & wonderful! I love myself & I love the fact that we all love ourselves! Humanity is so cuddly & cute & so deserving of all the goodness it creates!
    well maybe the problem is less their fact checking and more that any credibility at all is given to these representative individuals. I mean It should mean something to say 'a survey of 1000 people indivated 50% of people like burger king" and almost nothing to have a guy on tv who says he likes burger king.

  10. #6610
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShowtekGER View Post

    evil as such is rarely used in psychology today. it's a very loose term with various definitions. therefore, when it is examined it is divided into its many possible categories, such as crime, sadism, or the absence of conscience, which are all much more clearly defined. the idea of evil as an ontological force in the universe has been abandoned long ago. that idea doesn't make sense and there are reasons for all behavior, much better explained by the interaction of genetics, social surroundings, prenatal conditions, psychodynamic forces, etc.
    Interesting to hear your take. That's what I myself thought too. It just seems like using moral categories to describe cause and effect is going to be unscientific. But if people want to use moral categories as a way of judging, encouraging, or discouraging different kinds of behavior, that makes more sense to me. What I don't understand is saying that so-and-so did 'x' because there is evil in him.

  11. #6611
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedal2Metal View Post
    Of course. How could it be anything else? Most of only have time to truly become informed in only 1 field, let alone the incalculable number of fields & infinite knowledge that surrounds us in the universe. We all act according to our convictions because we have jobs, families, hobbies, sleeping, eating, bathing, etc... & very little time is left over for learning anything to a degree of "sufficient" competence to be considered an informed & expert opinion, beyond the area where we make a living. Even then, expert opinions are often just the party line of whatever group you've become affiliated with & not an actual independent, uncorrupted, & fresh evaluation of the topics based on raw data.
    I agree fully. And I think we've both made similar points before. The only difference for me right now is actually reading some economic books, which I haven't done in such a long time, and then seeing precisely how the national conversation falls so incredibly short of anything resembling real economic insights. There's something different about knowing intuitively that national political/economic debates are shallow from knowing the same thing more specifically and concretely.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zefelius View Post
    There's something different about knowing intuitively that national political/economic debates are shallow from knowing the same thing more specifically and concretely.
    I agree. This principle has very broad implications & applications in my view across virtually anything & everything from the mundane to the metaphysical. I think the quote from the character Morpheus in the movie "The Matrix" captures the essence of that difference best:

    "Knowing the path and walking the path are two different things."

    Absolute truth in my life experience.

    best regards,
    Pedal2Metal

  13. #6613
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zefelius View Post
    What I don't understand is saying that so-and-so did 'x' because there is evil in him.
    I read a story once in Reader's Digest many years ago about this detective who was an FBI profiler. He stated that for a long time he didn't believe in good or evil. However, his opinion changed after he interviewed a couple of guys who would film their victims while they tortured them which I won't mention details but suffice to say it made crucifixion look merciful. They were found to be mentally competent for trial & got the convicted but it was interesting because he was absolutely baffled & had no reference point or explanation for their behavior as they weren't found to be mentally incompetent/insane & there was no familial history, or any of the other typical patterns, etc.... So he concluded that evil does exist as he saw it. Anyhow, doesn't change anything for any of us as we are going to believe what we choose to believe but that experience definitely impacted his own life & beliefs so much so he wrote a book about it that was excerpted & included in Reader's Digest. I'm sorry I can't remember more so you could read it yourself as I know you actually like & take the time to read but it has been a very long time ago. It just stuck with me because the details (of which he only shared a portion) were simply some of the most depraved acts I've ever personally seen put to print.

    People do horrible unspeakable acts to other people every day & at least some are quite mentally competent when they do so. While I actually have some experience with mental illness (yes, I can hear the jokes now... & can attest it absolutely can & does impact people, one's moral compass isn't always impacted by mental illness, it depends upon the specific characteristics. So it's not a panacea for all the ills & evil of mankind but is definitely a contributor. However, whether we believe that good or evil exist is a fundamental value attribute of our belief system I think. My only comment would be as I've said before, if one does not accept the existence of evil, one must not accept the existence of good either. So then, actions are merely choice & consequence in physical reality with no other attributes or characteristics of interest beyond the physical ramifications. However, like that article I posted many months ago written by the formerly athiest/humanist professor of philosophy who eventually saw the inherent hypocrisy of his humanistic beliefs, he became a nihilist. In other words, either both edges exist (evil implies good & vice-versa) or the sword doesn't exist altogether (there is no morality). While I obviously don't agree with him, I respected the fact that he realized the intrinsic lopsidedness & hypocrisy of his former position. I'm not putting you into any category btw, just making my own comment on the topic.

    best regards,
    Pedal2Metal

  14. #6614
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedal2Metal View Post
    I read a story once in Reader's Digest many years ago about this detective who was an FBI profiler. He stated that for a long time he didn't believe in good or evil. However, his opinion changed after he interviewed a couple of guys who would film their victims while they tortured them which I won't mention details but suffice to say it made crucifixion look merciful. They were found to be mentally competent for trial & got the convicted but it was interesting because he was absolutely baffled & had no reference point or explanation for their behavior as they weren't found to be mentally incompetent/insane & there was no familial history, or any of the other typical patterns, etc.... So he concluded that evil does exist as he saw it. Anyhow, doesn't change anything for any of us as we are going to believe what we choose to believe but that experience definitely impacted his own life & beliefs so much so he wrote a book about it that was excerpted & included in Reader's Digest. I'm sorry I can't remember more so you could read it yourself as I know you actually like & take the time to read but it has been a very long time ago. It just stuck with me because the details (of which he only shared a portion) were simply some of the most depraved acts I've ever personally seen put to print.

    People do horrible unspeakable acts to other people every day & at least some are quite mentally competent when they do so. While I actually have some experience with mental illness (yes, I can hear the jokes now... & can attest it absolutely can & does impact people, one's moral compass isn't always impacted by mental illness, it depends upon the specific characteristics. So it's not a panacea for all the ills & evil of mankind but is definitely a contributor. However, whether we believe that good or evil exist is a fundamental value attribute of our belief system I think. My only comment would be as I've said before, if one does not accept the existence of evil, one must not accept the existence of good either. So then, actions are merely choice & consequence in physical reality with no other attributes or characteristics of interest beyond the physical ramifications. However, like that article I posted many months ago written by the formerly athiest/humanist professor of philosophy who eventually saw the inherent hypocrisy of his humanistic beliefs, he became a nihilist. In other words, either both edges exist (evil implies good & vice-versa) or the sword doesn't exist altogether (there is no morality). While I obviously don't agree with him, I respected the fact that he realized the intrinsic lopsidedness & hypocrisy of his former position. I'm not putting you into any category btw, just making my own comment on the topic.

    best regards,
    Pedal2Metal
    Morality is learned not inherent... I'm sure you've read Lord of the Flies. While obviously not a true story the assertions it makes of humanity are. We make up these rules and choose to believe humans are intrinsically good while that is simply not true, rather quite the opposite.
    Last edited by ITZ DENI3D; 07-23-2012 at 04:31 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ITZ DENI3D View Post
    Morality is learned not inherent... I'm sure you've read Lord of the Flies. While obviously not a true story the assertions it makes of humanity are. We make up these rules and choose to believe humans are intrinsically good while that is simply not true, rather quite the opposite.
    I love William Golding's classic tale of the depravity of man & I consider it absolute truth personally. However, I would say that I'm in the minority. Most people I run into believe humanity is good & will ultimately triumph over itself despite all evidence to the contrary. So be it, we all choose how we want to live & die.

    best regards,
    Pedal2Metal

  16. #6616
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedal2Metal View Post
    I love William Golding's classic tale of the depravity of man & I consider it absolute truth personally. However, I would say that I'm in the minority. Most people I run into believe humanity is good & will ultimately triumph over itself despite all evidence to the contrary. So be it, we all choose how we want to live & die.

    best regards,
    Pedal2Metal
    I don't think we get to choose how we die, unless we kill ourself. We die however the universe sees fit, some more interesting than others, the end result is the same though...

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    Quote Originally Posted by ITZ DENI3D View Post
    I don't think we get to choose how we die, unless we kill ourself. We die however the universe sees fit, some more interesting than others, the end result is the same though...
    Yes, I said that poorly & agree. I meant to say that we all choose our beliefs & convictions about this life & the nature of man. In some ways, I do think we can influence how we die (if I'm a soldier in an active war, if I'm a deep-sea diver, etc...) but it's true that we don't really choose the time & nature of our deaths w/o direct action.

    best regards,
    Pedal2Metal

  18. #6618
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedal2Metal View Post
    I read a story once in Reader's Digest many years ago about this detective who was an FBI profiler. He stated that for a long time he didn't believe in good or evil. However, his opinion changed after he interviewed a couple of guys who would film their victims while they tortured them which I won't mention details but suffice to say it made crucifixion look merciful. They were found to be mentally competent for trial & got the convicted but it was interesting because he was absolutely baffled & had no reference point or explanation for their behavior as they weren't found to be mentally incompetent/insane & there was no familial history, or any of the other typical patterns, etc.... So he concluded that evil does exist as he saw it. Anyhow, doesn't change anything for any of us as we are going to believe what we choose to believe but that experience definitely impacted his own life & beliefs so much so he wrote a book about it that was excerpted & included in Reader's Digest.
    As a moral category, I also believe that evil exists. And as you said, I must also believe that good exists since the two are mutually defining. So to me it's perfectly fine to describe horrible actions as evil, if what is meant is that we find them to be absolutely despicable---the kind of acts which should never be permissable in society.

    But when a psychologist says that evil is a cause of behavior, then he's no longer merely describing his personal or social reaction to the act. He's no longer using the word evil as a term of judgment. He's trying to give a scientific account of what caused the action. That's where I disagree. To me there is no such thing as evil operating in the world as a causal force, in the way that the light of the sun helps to grow plants on earth. But there is definitely evil in the sense that there are certain actions that we find to be absolutely reprehensible, much more so than typical bad actions such as stealing or lying.

    Edit to comment upthread: It wasn't just Fox that confused insanity with an inability to reason, but other cable outlets as well. Many of the pundits seem to think that if someone can make use of rational thinking then they can't be insane.

  19. #6619
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    I couldn't find a link, so I cut and pasted the following article from Chronicle of Higher Education. Pedal and Denied might both like it for different reasons...


    An Academic Auto-da-Fé

    A sociologist whose data find fault with same-sex relationships is savaged by the progressive orthodoxy



    By Christian Smith

    Whoever said inquisitions and witch hunts were things of the past? A big one is going on now. The sociologist Mark Regnerus, at the University of Texas at Austin, is being smeared in the media and subjected to an inquiry by his university over allegations of scientific misconduct.

    Regnerus's offense? His article in the July 2012 issue of Social Science Research reported that adult children of parents who had same-sex romantic relationships, including same-sex couples as parents, have more emotional and social problems than do adult children of heterosexual parents with intact marriages. That's it. Regnerus published ideologically unpopular research results on the contentious matter of same-sex relationships. And now he is being made to pay.

    In today's political climate, and particularly in the discipline of sociology—dominated as it is by a progressive orthodoxy—what Regnerus did is unacceptable. It makes him a heretic, a traitor—and so he must be thrown under the bus.

    Regnerus's study was based on a nationally representative sample of adult Americans, including an adequate number of respondents who had parents with same-sex relationships to make valid statistical comparisons. His data were collected by a survey firm that conducts top studies, such as the American National Election Survey, which is supported by the National Science Foundation. His sample was a clear improvement over those used by most previous studies on this topic.

    Regnerus was trained in one of the best graduate programs in the country and was a postdoctoral fellow under an internationally renowned scholar of family, Glen Elder, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (Full disclosure: I was on the faculty in Regnerus's department and advised him for some years, but was not his dissertation chair.) His article underwent peer review, and the journal's editor stands behind it. Regnerus also acknowledges the limitations of his study in his article, as he has done in subsequent interviews. And another recent study relying on a nationally representative sample also suggests that children of same-sex parents differ from children from intact, heterosexual marriages.

    But never mind that. None of it matters. Advocacy groups and academics who support gay marriage view Regnerus's findings as threatening. (As an aside, that is unnecessary, since his findings can be interpreted to support legal same-sex marriage, as a way to counter the family instability that helps produce the emotional and social problems Regnerus and others have found.)

    Regnerus has been attacked by sociologists all around the country, including some from his own department. He has been vilified by journalists who obviously (based on what they write) understand little about social-science research. And the journal in which Regnerus published his article has been the target of a pressure campaign.

    The Regnerus case needs to be understood in a larger context. Sociologists tend to be political and cultural liberals, leftists, and progressives. That itself is not a problem, in my view. (I am not a conservative.) A critical progressive outlook is part of sociology's character and contribution to the world, making it an interesting and often useful discipline, especially when it comes to understanding poverty and inequality, determining whether social policies are effective, and establishing why education systems succeed and fail. But the ideological and political proclivities of some sociologists can create real problems.


    It is also easy for some sociologists to lose perspective on the minority status of their own views, to take for granted much that is still worth arguing about, and to fall into a kind of groupthink. The culture in such circles can be parochial and mean. I have seen colleagues ignore, stereotype, and belittle people and perspectives they do not like, rather than respectfully provide good arguments against those they do not agree with and for their own views.

    The temptation to use academe to advance a political agenda is too often indulged in sociology, especially by activist faculty in certain fields, like marriage, family, sex, and gender. The crucial line between broadening education and indoctrinating propaganda can grow very thin, sometimes nonexistent. Research programs that advance narrow agendas compatible with particular ideologies are privileged. Survey textbooks in some fields routinely frame their arguments in a way that validates any form of intimate relationship as a family, when the larger social discussion of what a family is and should be is still continuing and worth having. Reviewers for peer-reviewed journals identify "problems" with papers whose findings do not comport with their own beliefs. Job candidates and faculty up for tenure whose political and social views are not "correct" are sometimes weeded out through a subtle (or obvious), ideologically governed process of evaluation, which is publicly justified on more-legitimate grounds—"scholarly weaknesses" or "not fitting in well" with the department.

    To be sure, there are many sociologists—progressives and otherwise—who are good people, scholars, and teachers. But the influence of progressive orthodoxy in sociology is evident in decisions made by graduate students, junior faculty, and even senior faculty about what, why, and how to research, publish, and teach. One cannot be too friendly to religion, for example, such as researching the positive social contributions of missionary work overseas or failing to criticize evangelicals and fundamentalists. The result is predictable: Play it politically safe, avoid controversial questions, publish the right conclusions.

    Those who are attacking Regnerus cannot admit their true political motives, so their strategy has been to discredit him for conducting "bad science." That is devious. His article is not perfect—no article ever is. But it is no scientifically worse than what is routinely published in sociology journals. Without a doubt, had Regnerus published different findings with the same methodology, nobody would have batted a methodological eye. Furthermore, none of his critics raised methodological concerns about earlier research on the same topic that had greater limitations, which are discussed in detail in the Regnerus article. Apparently, weak research that comes to the "right" conclusions is more acceptable than stronger studies that offer heretical results.

    What is at stake here? First, fair treatment for Regnerus. His antagonists have already damaged his chances of being promoted to full professor. If his critics are successful at besmirching his reputation, his career may be seriously damaged.

    But something bigger is at stake: The very integrity of the social-science research process is threatened by the public smearing and vigilante media attacks we have seen in this case. Sociology's progressive orthodoxy and the semicovert activism it prompts threaten the intellectual vitality of the discipline, the quality of undergraduate education, and public trust in academe. Reasonable people cannot allow social-science scholarship to be policed and selectively punished by the forces of activist ideology and politics, from any political quarter. University leaders must resist the manipulation of research review committees by nonacademic culture warriors who happen not to like certain findings.

    Science already has its own ways to deal with controversial research results. Studies should be replicated. Data sets should be made public and reanalyzed. And new and better studies should be conducted. Eventually the truth comes out. By those means, Regnerus might be shown to have been wrong or perhaps be vindicated. That is how science is supposed to work.

    By contrast, political attacks like those on Regnerus are contemptible and hurt everyone in the long run, including progressives. Everybody—especially officials at the University of Texas at Austin—needs to be vigilant in protecting scholars and their research against those inside and outside of academe who seek to silence scholars whose research runs counter to the current orthodoxy.

    Christian Smith is a professor of sociology and director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society and the Center for Social Research at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of What Is a Person?: Rethinking Humanity, Social Life, and the Moral Good From the Person Up (University of Chicago Press, 2010).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zefelius View Post
    But when a psychologist says that evil is a cause of behavior, then he's no longer merely describing his personal or social reaction to the act. He's no longer using the word evil as a term of judgment. He's trying to give a scientific account of what caused the action. That's where I disagree. To me there is no such thing as evil operating in the world as a causal force, in the way that the light of the sun helps to grow plants on earth. But there is definitely evil in the sense that there are certain actions that we find to be absolutely reprehensible, much more so than typical bad actions such as stealing or lying..
    Thanks for the clarification. While I obviously have a different position on the former (existent moral forces in the universe), I understand & agree those are two distinct concepts about the nature of morality. I actually think the former (moral forces) builds on the latter (moral evaluation). Both require some sort of personal framework as morality is not a rationally derivable system w/o some initial assumption(s).
    Quote Originally Posted by Zefelius View Post
    Edit to comment upthread: .... Many of the pundits seem to think that if someone can make use of rational thinking then they can't be insane.
    Yes, that's nonsense & I've only got personal experience to work from, I'm not a professional in this field although my sister is. It's like saying if I don't understand engineering, I can't understand anything. Logically invalid by definition. We can all be distorted in one or more areas & yet fairly balanced in others. However, there are definitely cases of pretty severe mental illnesses that can degrade or even completely disable all functionality, the point of ceasing to function altogether (no eating, drinking, bathing, using the bathroom, etc...). Obviously, in the specific case you were referring to (Aurora theatre shooting), this was not the case so I have to agree. Just because he did something heinous & planned, doesn't mean his perceptions weren't distorted in other areas. It's just a terrible tragedy. Can you imagine going to see a movie & winding up slowly bleeding to death from being shot in the theatre? How often do any of us think of that scenario? Truly terrible...

    best regards,
    Pedal2Metal

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    Excellent article Zef. Reminds me of "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed".

    I think a great many people on both sides of any topic lose sight of the importance of integrity & truth & what the real cost is of sacrificing this, especially in the area of learning, research, & communication of such data & information gained from those processes. Of course, history is rife with examples similar to the one in the article. I dare say, you can not claim to be a lover of truth if you are unwilling to sacrifice oneself for said truth. But it's never easy or trite, that's for sure. I'm sure it is very unpleasant for Regnerus right now unfortunately.

    While no one is perfect, you can definitely tell when people are more concerned with pushing an agenda than they are with actually examining the raw data & discovering more truth. It's sad but I think it's rare to find people that truly desire to know truth. Most of us just want our ears tickled. In fact, I think that's the nature of man unless we acknowledge & work against it in our own lives.

    thanks & best regards,
    Pedal2Metal

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedal2Metal View Post
    People do horrible unspeakable acts to other people every day & at least some are quite mentally competent when they do so.
    people being sane and extremely murderous and sadistic at the same time doesn't qualify for "evil" to exist as a force guiding human behavior.

    My only comment would be as I've said before, if one does not accept the existence of evil, one must not accept the existence of good either.
    i agree with this conclusion. what is good and what is evil are just relative value judgments without any basis in a hypothetical objective reality.

    and that's why the guy you mention, who started to believe in evil after having faced gruesome crime, already had a conception of evil before. he thought that torture and murder were evil. the sane murderer must not be evil as he might simply lack the moral compass people most commonly possess. there is no reason to assume that the most common morals are an indicator of some absolute form of good and evil. perhaps the psychopaths are right and not the majority of humans.

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    Mrs. Garrison would've loved this study . Everyone has there own agenda whether it is conscious or not. But I have noticed that more people have started to support homo-sexual rights and other social issues while not even bothering to look at the opposing sides argument. Where 50 years ago it was more of the normal behavior to outcast gays and other races now it is the opposite. Obviously it is better than being hateful, but supporting one side without even looking at the other when their findings have merit is ridiculous. For example like 3 months ago I made a statement why don't ask don't tell may have been appropriate and why soldiers may feel uncomfortable and should have the right to choose whether they shower with other openly gay men. For saying that I'm immediately a bigot, stereotypical, and not sympathetic to same-sex rights. Humans pretty much go with whatever the whole group is saying no matter how illogical it may seem. Don't want to be the outcast right...

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShowtekGER View Post
    people being sane and extremely murderous and sadistic at the same time doesn't qualify for "evil" to exist as a force guiding human behavior.
    It also doesn't disqualify "evil" existing either.

    Quote Originally Posted by ShowtekGER View Post
    i agree with this conclusion. what is good and what is evil are just relative value judgments without any basis in a hypothetical objective reality.
    You've always given a good-faith effort to be self-consistent. While we often (not always though) have different perspectives & positions, I respect that immensely.

    Quote Originally Posted by ShowtekGER View Post
    he thought that torture and murder were evil..
    If you imply that the issue was his lack of prior self-awareness & that witnessing the events caused him to become more self-aware & realize what had been there all along, I can agree that is a plausible explanation. However, it's also plausible that as he described it, he really did come to a new belief that he didn't possess prior to that experience. Given it's his beliefs, whether we agree with him or not, they are his & his alone along with the description of how he arrived at them. In that sense I disagree with you, regardless of the plausibility of your position. Of course, my recollection, I'm sure, does not do him justice but that's how I recalled it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ShowtekGER View Post
    there is no reason to assume that the most common morals are an indicator of some absolute form of good and evil. perhaps the psychopaths are right and not the majority of humans.
    Yep, that's all one can rationally conclude ultimately. In other words, belief is required to take any position, regardless of what it is.

    There is a common thread, on both of our responses (everyone's really). It's the same as in mathematics.
    The irrationals actually dominant system behavior (such as e, Pi, square root of 2, the golden ratio, etc...) & they can not be derived from the rationals. Likewise, in life, what we each believe in our core being ultimately drives our life, choices, behavior, etc.... It's pretty fascinating to me. While I don't play the game anymore, I just loved the quote I've so often used from it as it is the right up there with death & taxes as far as human existence goes: "Believe what you want, it's all we ever do." -- Flemeth, DAO

    best regards,
    Pedal2Metal

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    Quote Originally Posted by ITZ DENI3D View Post
    Mrs. Garrison would've loved this study . Everyone has there own agenda whether it is conscious or not. But I have noticed that more people have started to support homo-sexual rights and other social issues while not even bothering to look at the opposing sides argument. Where 50 years ago it was more of the normal behavior to outcast gays and other races now it is the opposite. Obviously it is better than being hateful, but supporting one side without even looking at the other when their findings have merit is ridiculous. For example like 3 months ago I made a statement why don't ask don't tell may have been appropriate and why soldiers may feel uncomfortable and should have the right to choose whether they shower with other openly gay men. For saying that I'm immediately a bigot, stereotypical, and not sympathetic to same-sex rights. Humans pretty much go with whatever the whole group is saying no matter how illogical it may seem. Don't want to be the outcast right...
    interesting, as most people that i would imagine to stereotypically support the conservative side of the gay rights issue would likely immediately have lower credibility in my eyes which, of course, is nothing but a bias. on the other hand, this doesn't mean that the bias is false. i would probably categorize this person with other conservatives who want to deny other people rights because of ignorant and egoistic reasons. mostly this assessment will be correct even though reaching conclusions in this way can prove costly if they are wrong.

    though, i don't understand the people who criticize the professor as posted by zef. if that's true it's pretty terrible, especially because i don't find his results threatening to gay rights at all. it would only be logical to assume that people living with same-sex parents don't feel as good as others because they very likely are confronted with stigma all the time--and that's a very left-wing position. if this is really all the guy argued the others' responses seem quite childish and inept.

    of course, in the name of science it's important to examine all sides of an issue. my hunch is that the conservative side on the gay-rights issue is no longer supportable and most of them just seem like ignorant fools to me who with all their power want to uphold their dogmatic beliefs. however, the guy in zef's article didn't even make a conservative point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShowtekGER View Post
    of course, in the name of science it's important to examine all sides of an issue. my hunch is that the conservative side on the gay-rights issue is no longer supportable and most of them just seem like ignorant fools to me who with all their power want to uphold their dogmatic beliefs. however, the guy in zef's article didn't even make a conservative point.
    What an open-minded non-dogmatic unbiased scientific examination of the other side!

    best regards,
    Pedal2Metal

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedal2Metal View Post
    It also doesn't disqualify "evil" existing either.
    no, but you posted one opinion and i posted mine. your guy's reasoning reminded me of a typical public gut reaction to horrendous crimes. "wow, if it's this bad, then this guy just has to be evil."

    of course, if this is just the realization that incidence had given him then who are we to tell him that he's wrong? perhaps it's his devil proof. my own experience, though, is that human behavior can always be explained rationally and the concept of evil is not rational.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedal2Metal View Post
    What an open-minded non-dogmatic unbiased scientific examination of the other side!

    best regards,
    Pedal2Metal
    well, as i said before, i am biased on the issue. however, i am also right. sorry to break it to you

    there is still serious research in regard to possible negative consequences of being brought up by same-sex couples. this is science. however, most of the conservative debate can mostly easily be attributed to my bias: it's hard for people to give up ignorant beliefs which they have been strongly attached to since childhood and which are still all around them in their environment (e.g., homophobia).

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShowtekGER View Post
    however, i am also right. sorry to break it to you
    Wow! Just what I was thinking!

    best regards,
    Pedal2Metal

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShowtekGER View Post
    there is still serious research in regard to possible negative consequences of being brought up by same-sex couples. this is science. however, most of the conservative debate can mostly easily be attributed to my bias: it's hard for people to give up ignorant beliefs which they have been strongly attached to since childhood and which are still all around them in their environment (e.g., homophobia).
    At least you're self-aware & honest, which is good.

    Homophobia is a term created to give power to the bias you refer to & do the very thing that the article & Denied referenced: coerce and/or intimidate others into silence via passive aggressive methods. I've spoken to several homosexuals in my lifetime, especially when I was in college. I don't fear them just because I don't support the lifestyle, similar to any other position I take different from others in life. To label others this way, as many on both sides often do, is simply dismissive & betrays our own ignorance & bad-faith posture.

    I'm sure you're familiar with the challenges of passive aggressive behavior given your field of study. It is one of the more difficult patterns to resolve as the perpetrator behaves this way to maintain the appearance of respectability while fostering & nurturing a inner life & belief system of despicability. In other words, plausible deniability is rampant. Outwardly aggressive behavior problems are usually more easily identified & resolved.

    Ultimately, the bias drives the behavior & it can lead to the very acts that most liberals claim to oppose (oppression, hate, rage, violence, etc...). It is no different than the Nazis in my view. In fact, any source of bias, in my view, is largely driven by 2 things:
    Experience & arrogance (or pride if you prefer).

    Experience we can't help or change but arrogance we can. Arrogance makes us blind to truth in all cases. I've never met a truly humble person who isn't also trying to discern & mitigate their biases as a lifestyle & trying to see things more clearly.

    best regards,
    Pedal2Metal

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedal2Metal View Post
    Homophobia is a term created to give power to the bias you refer to & do the very thing that the article & Denied referenced: coerce and/or intimidate others into silence via passive aggressive methods. I've spoken to several homosexuals in my lifetime, especially when I was in college. I don't fear them just because I don't support the lifestyle, similar to any other position I take different from others in life. To label others this way, as many on both sides often do, is simply dismissive & betrays our own ignorance & bad-faith posture.
    i've heard this argument before in regard to other words, such as "islamophobia". the guy i specifically have in mind, pat condell, is a blatant islamophobe.

    i'm sure these words are sometimes used in the way you describe them, as intimidation and depreciation. however, arguing that they have been invented only for that purpose and describe a phenomenon that doesn't exist is extremely far-fetched. of course, many people are afraid of homosexuals and/or the homosexual lifestyle and other ideas associated with homosexuality. i'm open-minded about the idea that some people might feel uncomfortable with homosexuality without fear involved but generally fear seems to be the driving force behind simple categorical animosity or outright hatred. so while it might very well be that one is not afraid of homosexuals as such but that one feels that their lifestyle threatens his own or his beliefs. this fear may also be unconscious. e.g., if you want to share this, why do you "not support" their lifestyle?

    furthermore, i feel that the "fear" which hides linguistically in terms such as islamophobia and homophobia is not that important even though i think fear plays a significant role in such phenomena. but "anti-antisemitism" could as well be called "semitiphobia" or something like that. to me, all three concepts are the same, only directed at different groups of people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShowtekGER View Post
    i've heard this argument before in regard to other words, such as "islamophobia". the guy i specifically have in mind, pat condell, is a blatant islamophobe.

    i'm sure these words are sometimes used in the way you describe them, as intimidation and depreciation. however, arguing that they have been invented only for that purpose and describe a phenomenon that doesn't exist is extremely far-fetched. of course, many people are afraid of homosexuals and/or the homosexual lifestyle and other ideas associated with homosexuality. i'm open-minded about the idea that some people might feel uncomfortable with homosexuality without fear involved but generally fear seems to be the driving force behind simple categorical animosity or outright hatred. so while it might very well be that one is not afraid of homosexuals as such but that one feels that their lifestyle threatens his own or his beliefs. this fear may also be unconscious. e.g., if you want to share this, why do you "not support" their lifestyle?

    furthermore, i feel that the "fear" which hides linguistically in terms such as islamophobia and homophobia is not that important even though i think fear plays a significant role in such phenomena. but "anti-antisemitism" could as well be called "semitiphobia" or something like that. to me, all three concepts are the same, only directed at different groups of people.
    So question your own argument. If it is true that the purpose of the term is merely to put a new word to a phenomenon & there is no underlying agenda, why don't you see the word heterophobia bandied about nearly as often? My wife played on a mostly lesbian soccer team for a couple of seasons. She's married w/kids. Trust me when I say there was some serious heterophobia going on. While not all homosexuals exude such a fear, it is definitely common & identifiable within the homosexual community. They even discuss such "purity" issues openly when discussing if it's ok to be bi-sexual or does it may you less "gay", etc....

    In short, I don't agree with the appearance that modern society has had a sudden outbreak of homophobia. However, I do think there has been a sudden outbreak (last 50 years) of prolific & disproportionate use of the term "homophobe/homophobia" to describe people. I don't think this adds much to the discussion & it definitely detracts.

    I don't agree with your common refrain that fear drives everything. I do agree fear often drives things but to offer that as the only motivator would seem highly ignorant & dismissive on your part, especially given your field of study & your recent agreement with Zef's criticism of TV pundits. Frankly, I expect more from you. I oppose sexual promiscuity, heterosexual or homosexual. Does that mean I fear sex or fear those who have had sex or fear talking with those who have sex? Ooopppsss I've got 3 kids, too late!

    You need a better model than what you have established in your mind. Fear does not drive everything. I'm a perfect example of this. I debate all the time with people who differ from myself & do so w/o fear whatsoever. I'm not afraid of those who are different from myself, as long as they don't give me reason to. So in some things there is fear, in others there is not. You have a very limited model of motivators for human behavior in my view. You need to update it, preferably before you start your own private practice (if you go this route). I'm being completely serious btw. You won't be able to help people become functional if you project your own deeply rooted biases upon them.

    best regards,
    Pedal2Metal
    Last edited by Pedal2Metal; 07-24-2012 at 05:30 PM.

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    Didn't want to dilute the previous message. With regards to the terms of <root>-phobe vs. anti-<root>, I disagree that this distinction is irrelevant. Anyone who understands how the art of communication works understands the subtle power of word-choice. Using the term "phobe" is a much more subtle label than "anti". As a result, it has an air of credibility about it that is harder to dispel as it sounds more clinical, more scientific, less dogmatic, etc....

    In other words, when we use such labels, it's even harder to recognize, challenge, & dispel our bias because it appears so respectable & sounds so reasonable & justifiable. The greatest masters of communication understand the vital criticality of word choice & selection & how it influences the human mind over generations. While you may be unaffected, the more likely reality is that you are so affected you can not even recognize the effect. Much like the idea of Indoctrination in the Mass Effect game series. Highly recommended by the way. Yes, I understand that you likely would say the same about me. Understood. My point is not to prove a point but rather to illuminate the reality that you might actually be contributing to the problem you are espousing you are standing against & not even be aware you are doing so. Anyhow, give it some thought...

    You really NEED to play Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Seriously. I'm betting you will really enjoy it.

    best regards,
    Pedal2Metal

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedal2Metal View Post
    So question your own argument. If it is true that the purpose of the term is merely to put a new word to a phenomenon & there is no underlying agenda, why don't you see the word heterophobia bandied about nearly as often? My wife played on a mostly lesbian soccer team for a couple of seasons. She's married w/kids. Trust me when I say there was some serious heterophobia going on. While not all homosexuals exude such a fear, it is definitely common & identifiable within the homosexual community. They even discuss such "purity" issues openly when discussing if it's ok to be bi-sexual or does it may you less "gay", etc....
    it's not a much used term because heterophobia is highly insignificant, much like germanophobia, hatred of chickens, and fear of cucumbers are insignificant. i'm sure all of them exist but that's not a huge problem. your anecdotal example could easily be countered with another one and even if heterophobia was proven to be widespread among homosexuals, they would still be the marginalized group and not heterosexuals. so i really doubt that the heterosexual community, that is about 90% of all people, suffered badly under the blatant heterophobia that permeates our society.

    In short, I don't agree with the appearance that modern society has had a sudden outbreak of homophobia. However, I do think there has been a sudden outbreak (last 50 years) of prolific & disproportionate use of the term "homophobe/homophobia" to describe people. I don't think this adds much to the discussion & it definitely detracts.
    man! there's no sudden outbreak of homophobia. there's a sudden acceptance of homosexuals! of course, western societies have been much more homophobic before and the fact that we now have a term describing discrimination against, fear of, or anger directed at homosexuals is a simple affirmation of the west slowly approaching a fairer treatment of them.

    I don't agree with your common refrain that fear drives everything. I do agree fear often drives things but to offer that as the only motivator would seem highly ignorant & dismissive on your part, especially given your field of study & your recent agreement with Zef's criticism of TV pundits. Frankly, I expect more from you. I oppose sexual promiscuity, heterosexual or homosexual. Does that mean I fear sex or fear those who have had sex or fear talking with those who have sex? Ooopppsss I've got 3 kids, too late!
    i didn't argue that fear drives everything but that

    "generally fear seems to be the driving force behind simple categorical animosity or outright hatred."

  35. #6635
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedal2Metal View Post
    I oppose sexual promiscuity, heterosexual or homosexual.
    does this mean that you equate the homosexual lifestyle with a promiscuous lifestyle? one could get that impression because you centered your statement around homosexuals only earlier:

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedal2Metal View Post
    I don't fear them [homosexuals] just because I don't support the lifestyle
    i'm sure many gays would be offended by that and some liberals with explosive temperaments could be quick to yell the "homophobe" term

  36. #6636
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedal2Metal View Post
    Didn't want to dilute the previous message. With regards to the terms of <root>-phobe vs. anti-<root>, I disagree that this distinction is irrelevant. Anyone who understands how the art of communication works understands the subtle power of word-choice. Using the term "phobe" is a much more subtle label than "anti". As a result, it has an air of credibility about it that is harder to dispel as it sounds more clinical, more scientific, less dogmatic, etc....
    i don't state that the distinction is always absolutely insignificant, but it wouldn't surprise me if it didn't play too much of a role most of the time. for example, when i looked for the term "germanophobia" on wikipedia in order to check if it exists i was redirected to "anti-german sentiment" which wikipedia, hence, regards as having the same meaning.

    this doesn't necessarily apply to all such instances but i think in many the difference will be subtle if at all existent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShowtekGER View Post
    "generally fear seems to be the driving force behind simple categorical animosity or outright hatred."
    You say "toe-may-toe", I say "toe-maa-toe". Either way, I don't agree. Fear is one motivator among many, not the only primary motivator. While you may be correct, I can say with certainty I'm generally not motivated by fear for myself. I'm sure there are plenty of others who share this attribute. For me, it's really about seeking truth. Of course, I believe truth exists independent of arbitrary constructions of men, otherwise such a journey is pointless & pitiful. Although one could make an argument that such a journey is still of value if it elevates one thinking & pursuits in life, despite how illusionary it might be. Ironically, this is precisely the argument Karl Marx made although, clearly, he didn't present it with that intention. If I'm in a drugged state & that state is more pleasurable than undrugged & in either case it's meaningless, what possible rational argument can be made for stopping the drugs?!?

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    Pedal2Metal

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedal2Metal View Post
    You really NEED to play Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Seriously. I'm betting you will really enjoy it.
    currently i really am not very motivated to play video games and the last time i was really into it was civ rev which is 2 years ago. i'm also short on money and like to spend it on traveling, festivals, partying, and general socializing instead. if, for some reason, i should suddenly become interested in gaming once more i might take a closer look at that game. but currently i'm just not interested.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShowtekGER View Post
    does this mean that you equate the homosexual lifestyle with a promiscuous lifestyle? one could get that impression because you centered your statement around homosexuals only earlier.
    No. I was making an example of another lifestyle I oppose, independent of sexual orientation. However, with regards to promiscuity, the statistics are pretty clear. Typically, homosexuals have significantly more partners on average than heterosexuals.

    Quote Originally Posted by ShowtekGER View Post
    i'm sure many gays would be offended by that and some liberals with explosive temperaments could be quick to yell the "homophobe" term
    Yes, in fact, they would. I find it laughable & ridiculuous just as I would identifying someone who disliked vanilla ice cream yelling "vanillaphobe!!!".

    best regards,
    Pedal2Metal

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShowtekGER View Post
    currently i really am not very motivated to play video games and the last time i was really into it was civ rev which is 2 years ago. i'm also short on money and like to spend it on traveling, festivals, partying, and general socializing instead. if, for some reason, i should suddenly become interested in gaming once more i might take a closer look at that game. but currently i'm just not interested.
    Understood. It's just so philosophical & beautifully done, I think you would really appreciate it.

    best regards,
    Pedal2Metal

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